On being declared guilty in the multi-crore Satyam scam, Sebi barred the 'Big Four' auditor Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to audit listed companies in India for two years, reported PTI. It has also ordered the disgorgement of over Rs 13 crore gained wrongly by the firm and its two partners who worked on the IT company's accounts.
PwC is a multinational professional services network that focuses on audit and assurance, tax and consulting services. It was Satyam's auditor in 2009, at the time of the scandal. The "Satyam Scam" was a 7,136 crore financial fraud where figures of the company's balance sheet were deliberately misstated.
Sebi's decision comes nine years after the scam and after two failed attempts of PwC to settle the case through consent mechanism.
In a 108-page order, Sebi has imposed a two-year ban on entities/ firms that are practicing as chartered accountants in India under the brand and banner of PwC from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with the regulator.
The order will not impact assignments relating to the financial year 2017-18.
Bangalore PwC and its two partners, S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri have been directed to disgorge their wrongful gains of "Rs 13,09,01,664 with interest calculated at the rate of 12 percent per annum from January 7, 2009, till the date of payment". The amount has to be paid within 45 days.
In addition, S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri have been barred from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with Sebi for three years.